Why Environment and Sustainability Matter

As a grant-giver and creative placemaker, the Foundation for Future London is proud to invest in sustainability and net zero now across all sectors in the four boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest in East London.

Our role is to connect East London communities with the new East Bank cultural quarter and regeneration area, which is currently coming up in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park — and that means people and place.

It’s vital that we care about the environment and sustainability. Why? Because they are crucial elements of caring for people and their physical, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing – and our communities. Green, grey and blue spaces inspire creativity, with artists playing a vital role to help us reimagine and engage with those spaces. During Covid-19 lockdown, outdoor spaces and connecting with nature and the environment helped many people during difficult times, creating a deeper appreciation for our public parks, waterways and squares. And the Foundation is continuing to invest in health and place programmes and collaborative projects.

We know there’s a connection between the climate, environmental and human right crises and the threat of current and future homelessness, disease, food and water shortages and poverty for millions of people around the world, as well as the major damage being caused to our natural eco-systems and sustainable development.

The Foundation for Future London has a responsibility to deliver sustainable development, to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” and reduce our own carbon and environmental footprints as an organisation.

Our work is guided by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

  • Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable SDG11
  • Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all SDG4
  • And promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all SDG8

Our work and our policy reviews are guided by our Equity, Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Policy, which outlines how we operate as a sustainable development organisation and the proactive steps we are taking to help create a net zero London for all. We are developing our policy in practice in line with the Association of Charitable Funders’ Funder Commitment on Climate Change and in discussion with grantees, partners, funders and stakeholders.

We believe that everyone has the right to a healthy environment for current and future generations, and we committed to playing our role in protecting the environment. This is why the Foundation for Future London is proud to have signed up to the Funder Commitment on Climate.

Funded Projects

We provide funding to people with creative ideas on tackling sustainability at a local level in the UK — and potentially globally – as community led and focused blue prints. These include:

  • In Hackney, architect First Sukpaiboon is working with the local authority and estate residents to create vertical farming solutions for inner city spaces, where fruit and vegetable can be grown in void spaces such as between buildings and unused car park (Vertical Farming Project).
  • In Waltham Forest, students and the local community are designing and build “in-between” spaces — such as green corridors — and new neighbourhood walking routes away from polluted roads in a project by Loop Labs and Forest Gate Community Garden (Green Forest Gate).
  • In Newham, you can walk between some of East London’s most famous venues, Westfield Stratford City shopping mall, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2 arena to experience art, nature and heritage for free on London’s public art walk. It’s also where young people have been trained as guides and getting their first paid employment experience (The Line).
  • In Tower Hamlets year nine students joined forces with older women from the local community with Magic Me to explore the climate emergency, and what it means to be an activist using art, writing, voice and drama (Generation Rebellion).

For further information on how to get support for projects that tackle environment and sustainability, please visit our grants page.

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